DURHAM, N.C. – The new sheriff of Durham County, Clarence Birkhead, announced Friday that his office will no longer honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.

Birkhead issued a policy directing Durham County Detention Center staff to release ICE detainees as soon as they are eligible, ABC 11 reported.

ICE places detainers on people who have been arrested on local criminal charges and for whom ICE says probable cause exists to remove them from the country.

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New Sheriff Clarence Birkhead said his organization will no longer recognize ICE detainer requests. (Screenshot ABC 11 broadcast)

The detainers allow ICE to take custody of such suspects when they are released from local custody.

In recent times immigration politics have played a vital role in local decisions made by law enforcement leaders and politicians who’ve chosen to ignore federal law and efforts made by the Trump administration.

In ICE detainers, federal officials request that a local jail or other law enforcement agency detain a suspect for an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after his or her release date to provide ICE agents time to take them into custody.The detainers allow ICE to take custody of such suspects when they are released from local custody.

Birkhead’s directive advises staffers that absent of a court order or arrest warrant signed by a judicial official, any person who has had their criminal charges disposed of or who has made bond will not be held beyond the normal timetable for release.

Birkhead signed the policy Friday and it went into effect immediately.